Introducing Our Amazing Staff!!
Director of SPIRIT of Great Oak
Jerry Burdick-Rutz is currently in his eleventh year (2004-Present) as Director of The Spirit of Great Oak Performing Ensembles www.spiritofgreatoak.com. He previously was Director of the Platinum Sound Ensembles, www.platinumsound.org at Temecula-Chaparral High School (1997-2004).Mr. Burdick-Rutz was selected as “Visual and Performing Arts Chair,” when opening Great Oak High School, the third and newest comprehensive high school in the Temecula Valley Unified School District. It was during the planning stages of the school that he suggested SPIRIT as the acronym for Great Oak High School, a nickname he was hoping to name the Music Ensembles. The Vision team used the concept of Spirit to develop the school's “Branches of Excellence: Scholarship, Passion, Integrity, Reflection, Involvement and Teamwork.
Mr. Burdick-Rutz Directs several performing ensembles at Great Oak High School. As many as five ensembles are active in performances and competitions at the same time throughout the school year:
1. The Award Winning Spirit of Great Oak
Marching Band & Color Guard
2. The Award Winning Great Oak High
School Jazz Ensemble
3. The Popular Jazz Combo Group "Soul
4. The Award Winning Symphonic Wind
5. The Great Oak Jazz Band
6. The Award Winning Spirit Winter Color
7. The Award Winning Great Oak Winter
8. The Spirit Chamber Ensemble: "The
Mr. Burdick-Rutz has incorporated academic courses in music including:
1. Advanced Placement Music Theory
2. International Baccalaureate Music:
Standard Level & Higher Level
Mr. Burdick-Rutz has received several teaching honors including:
1. The Who's Who of Teachers in 2001 and
2004, 2006, and 2011.
2. 2006-2014 Crystal Apple Awards Nominee
3. 2008 Great Oak High School Teacher of
4. 2008 Temecula Valley Unified School
District Teacher of the Year
5. 2010-11 Inland Valley Top Ten Teacher
6. 2012 Presented the "Involvement," Award
from colleagues and Administrators at
Great Oak H.S.
Mr. Burdick-Rutz grew up in Michigan where he attended middle school at Hayes Middle School and was a member of the Int. & Adv. Band Program under the Direction of Eileen Houston. He then attended and graduated from the award winning Grand Ledge High School Band: http://scnc.glps.k12.mi.us/~hsb and under the Direction of Michael Kaufman. He went on to earn his Bachelor of Music Ed. Degree from Michigan State University: http://www.SpartanBand.net where he participated in:
1. The Symphonic Wind Ensemble
2. The Symphonic Band
3. Percussion Ensemble; Winter Drum Line
4. The Spartan Marching Band: Drum Line: 1990-1993; Drum Major 1994-1995
Mr. Burdick-Rutz performed in The Nine-Time World Champion Cadets of Bergen County Drum and Bugle Corps: www.yea.org from Bergenfield, NJ:
1. Drum Line: 1992;
2. Drum Major: 1993
Pete Lucero hails from Denver, Colorado. His interest in playing music started in elementary school, and by 5th grade he was performing as a concert percussionist, which he continued through middle school. Before high school, Pete was introduced to marching percussion, and that sparked his interest, fueled his practicing, and became his passion. He was fortunate to attend Northglenn HS (1996-2000), earning multiple percussion state championships, a WGI Bronze medal in the Scholastic Concert class, and WGI Silver and Gold medals in the Scholastic World class.
After high school, Pete went on to perform with a number of nationally-renowned ensembles. They include the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble (2001-2002), Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps (2002), RCC Marching Band (2002), RCC Winter Drumline (2003-2005), and the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps (2003-2004). He has also performed with BD Entertainment, “Riptide” at Sea World San Diego, and in corporate events, studio recordings, music videos, television, and film.
As a student, Pete sought out great teachers, including Dave Marvin, Scott Reno, Brian Graham, Ralph Hardimon, Sean Vega, and Scott Johnson. He hopes to make the same kind of life-lasting impressions on his own students that those teachers left on him. In addition to Pacific Crest, his teaching experiences include Pulse Percussion and a number of high schools in California and Colorado. As a freelance educator, composer/arranger, and designer, he currently serves as Percussion Director at Great Oak HS, Chaparral HS, Vista HS, and Carlsbad HS, and is a Director at Pulse Percussion.
Pete is a member of the Vic Firth educational team and resides in Murrieta, California, with his wife, Koto.
Front Ensemble Director
This is Richard's 6th year on staff with Great Oak High School (2005-2009, 2014-Present). He started teaching at Ramona HS (Riverside) in 2005 and has worked with several other high schools throughout Southern California such as Chaparral HS, Patriot HS, La Quinta HS, Vista HS, and Carlsbad HS.
Richard's performance experience includes RCC Fall Marching Band (2004-2005) and Black Knights Indoor Percussion (2005).
He is currently working on a degree in Engineering.
Front Ensemble Music Composer
Jonathan Zuniga is an instructor and composer from Southern California. He has worked with many local drum lines and schools including Great Oak HS, Chaparral HS, Los Alamitos HS, Chino Hills HS, and Pulse Percussion. His instruction in Drum Corps includes Academy 2011, Cadets 2012, and currently with the Blue Stars since 2013.
His performance experience includes the Arizona Academy Drum & Bugle Corps, RCC Winter Drumline and the Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps.
He is a member of the Vic Firth educational team and lives in Fullerton, CA.
Brandon Zackey has performed on tenors for many world class marching organizations. These include Yamato, Esperanza, Glassmen, RCC Fall Marching Band, Pulse Percussion, RCC Winter Drum line, and The Blue Devils.
He has been contracted multiple times to perform as a percussionist at Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan. Brandon has also performed on episodes of The Office, American Idol, and Big Love.
Upon aging out of the drum line activity, Brandon began teaching high school and professional ensembles, including the San Diego State University Winter Drum Line in 2012. He currently teaches Chaparral High School and Great Oak High School, while maintaining a studio of private students.
Recently he served as a clinician for System Blue, and has frequently performed locally in the Southern California area.
Brandon can currently be seen playing drum set for the thrash metal band of his own creation called Chemical Warfare and the black metal band Sicarius.
Brandon was a grand finalist in the 27th Annual Guitar Center Drum Off.